Symptoms of Amebiasis

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The majority of people infected by amebiasis have no symptoms. The disease can often go unnoticed. Nevertheless, these people excrete parasites in their faeces and they can give the infection to other people if the correct hygiene measures are not taken.  

Approximately 10% of infected people develop symptoms, which tend to appear gradually over several days or weeks following infection. The most frequent symptoms are caused by the effect of the amoebas that cause the disease on the digestive tract:   

Woman with bowel problems by the toilet

Diarrhoea, occasionally with the presence of mucous or blood in the faeces.

Standing person with abdominal pain

Abdominal pain (colic type). 

Thermometer with a danger signal indicating fever

There may also be weight loss, a fever of over 38ºC, anaemia, etc. 

Perforation of the large intestine

The most serious cases may be complicated by intestinal perforation.  

On some occasions, the parasite may propagate to organs outside the intestine, which leads to another illness known as extraintestinal amebiasis. The liver is the most commonly affected organ, where an amoebic abscess forms. These patients tend to present:  

Thermometer with a danger signal indicating fever

Fever (90%). 

Standing person with abdominal pain

Abdominal pain.  

Person with an enlarged liver or hepatomegaly

 Increase in liver size. 

Person standing with diarrhoea cramps


Scale with a down arrow indicating a weight loss

Weight loss. 

Cough with expectoration or sputum


Person with jaundice or yellowing of the skin and mucous membranes

Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and mucous membranes, as a consequence of an increase in bilirubin). 

The donations that can be done through this webpage are exclusively for the benefit of Hospital Clínic of Barcelona through Fundació Clínic per a la Recerca Biomèdica and not for BBVA Foundation, entity that collaborates with the project of PortalClínic.


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